Which would you pick?

These are three teacup and saucer sets done in the three colorways of RJR‘s A is for Anabelle fabric collection.  Which would you pick?  I am not normally a green person, but the green colorway is causing my heart to flutter…

Teacups and saucers have popped up at sundry times at Ivory Spring… because we are somewhat serious about teacups and such over here.

[Spode Delamere in a blue/brown autumn setting]

[Spode antique gilded unknown pattern amidst Benartex’s Silk Road fabrics]

[ Lomonosov Guipure among Russian-y things]

[Spode Sheffield in an English bookish setting]

[Mottahedeh Mandarin Blue in a traditional setting]

[Johnson Brothers Heritage White in a spring afternoon Chinese tea setting]

[Spode Blue Italian and Blue Geranium peeking from the china hutch]

[Royal Albert Lady Carlyle in a cottage setting]

Which would you pick out of this lot?

Baby’s introduction to dish-aholism

This past weekend, Baby received her first tea service from her Uncle and Aunt. The colors are a perfect fit for my “To a Garden Tea Party” quilt. While Baby was napping one morning this week, with the quilt in tow, I went to work setting the table (coffee table that is) to give her a little surprise when she woke up from her nap.

I tried to keep the “garden” theme – so, a Lego tree with flowers, some wooden trees, and a wheelbarrow carrying a bird were used.

I did have to loan some things from my stash to add to the tablesetting – the “milk” pitcher, fake lavender sprigs, and my sterling salt spoon.

I sorted through our little stash of animal crackers, and picked out the ones that are complete:

Never mind that the tea set was meant for children above 8 years old…

… here Baby, who is barely 1 1/2 years young, demonstrated to me how to hold a teacup with class and finesse. I think Baby is officially introduced to dish-aholism, don’t you?! Oh, what fun awaits me!

It was a fun little exercise for us. We had no accidents or casualty during tea. No breakable pieces were broken. All the pieces were carefully stowed away in the box after we were finished with our tea.

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you have enjoyed this sweet little tablesetting set for a sweet little thing in my life. You must join us next time we have tea again.

What do you get when you mix…

… Chinese New Year and Valentine’s Day?

A mixed tablescape! Last Sunday was not only Valentine’s Day; it was also the celebration of Chinese New Year. We had guests join us for the occasion. I had been so busy with things the whole week that I hadn’t even thought of how I would set the table. Even though I am of Chinese descent, I don’t have many Chinese-y things… so, I had to do a little digging to come up with this quick centerpiece:

The pseudo-“fabric” draping is really just a piece of Chinese-y silk fabric, which has languished for years at the bottom of a box of fabrics I have stowed away. The edges are not finished or anything. It is truly just a piece of fabric I just kind of ruffled up, and hid the unfinished edge. I added a silver reticulated tray with some Mandarin oranges, and found a leaf garland in the box of things I was going to drop off at the thrift store. I decided to borrow the garland for one last fling… :)

I added some empty money pockets called Hong Baos (elders would give money to youngsters in these money pockets), and…. chopsticks (well, I told you I was short on Chinese decorations, and I was rather desperate at 3:30pm when dinner was supposed to start at 5pm!)

For our dishes, I used my Royal Albert Lady Carlyle because they are the only dishes that would fit the Valentine’s Day theme with them being pink and all… you can see the Valentines peeking from beneath the placemats (they are from Baby to our guests). All red napkins were used for the Valentine’s theme, and to symbolize the traditional Chinese firecrackers:

Oh, about 45 minutes before our guests arrived, I decided we HAD to have some fortune cookies for the Chinese meal we were about to partake. Sometimes I think I am a little loopy! So, I made these make-believe fortune cookies out of felt in less than thirty minutes. I didn’t have any felt that are more yellow, so I used a light beige. My shabbily made felt fortune cookies are quite an embarrassment compared to the felt cuisine items my sister makes:

Then, I added these Italian brass candelabras (although no candles were used) because Marco Polo had gone to China… at this point, you go “huh”?! I told you I was desperate for anything Asian-related … I love these tall candelabras. They are about 20 inches tall:

Baby had her little placesetting too, complete with her own fake fortune cookie. The slip of paper in her cookie says, “Your fortune will be full of cookies”! I didn’t have time to come up with a wittier line.

The Chinese meal brought by our guests was delicious. For dessert, I followed Ellen‘s advice to make this for Valentine’s Day. Thanks Ellen, it was a hit!

I took Baby down to inspect my tablesetting after her nap and before our guests arrived. She went, “Ohhhh!” I think for the first time, she realized the different things I had done to the table. It’s never too early to start Baby off with dish-aholism, is it? :) Thank you for visiting my hastily put together tablescape. I look forward to seeing your tablescapes! Meanwhile, have a fantastic day.

Would you like a cuppa while…

…. while we admire some newly arrived fabrics?!

I received these fabrics yesterday. They are from SILK ROAD collection, to be released soon by Benartex. Do check their website for updates.

I absolutely LOVE, LOVE, LOVE these fabrics. These are going to be used in a fall pieced / applique quilt coming out in the October 2010 issue of Quilter’s World. I am chomping at the bit to get started with this quilt, which will be within the next day!!

I had purchase two sets of these antique Spode cups and saucers. Pattern is unknown to me. But one set was broken into pieces en route to me. So, I have this lone set of white/gold cup and saucer. I am not really a white person. Most of my dishes have busy patterns – the busier the better! :) But in my old “mature” age, I find myself also being drawn to the whites. Believe it or not, I have been researching my options for the last two years, but haven’t come to a conclusion. So, I would love to know what white or cream china sets you have so that I can add that to my list of patterns to consider…

I hope this gives you an idea of how a tablescape might look like set up by a person who is hopelessly dishaholic, and extremely fabric-aholic! :) Oh, also throw in the mix a little book-aholic!

Urm, and a tad silver-aholic…

Now, are you ready for your own cup of tea? I shall go and fetch your cup and saucer of choice! Thanks for stopping by. You have yourself a fabulous day, okay?

Snippets from a birthday party

I like to use heirloom keepsakes whenever I can in decorating a table, especially for memorable occasions. For Baby’s birthday table, I decided to keep a traditional theme, sprinkled with the keepsakes that belong to her…

I am keeping a theme – so, you can see that the set up is a lot similar to the setup here

The silver punch bowl set was decorated with Baby’s heirloom wooden blocks Baby has played with (no, Baby doesn’t own the silver punch bowl set – that’s mine!):

Baby’s “important” papers during her first year of life – birth announcement, invitation to her little birthday party, and cards she received from dear friends:

Of course, plates commemorating Baby’s birth were used! :)

Baby’s feeding spoon with the porringer as added accents. Those are the things she had used regularly :

I displayed a couple of Baby’s heirloom dresses propped on a doll bed borrowed from friends. The grey bunny was Baby’s faithful companion in the earlier days:

THE CAKE! The design on the cake was inspired by the smocking on Baby’s birthday dress. I will post about the dress tomorrow:

I thought it would be nice to use candleholders that I didn’t have to throw away after the party. These are the Bunnykins candleholders that will be keepsake for Baby as well:

I used my Royal Albert Lady Carlyle dishes to match the cake:

Goodies for Baby’s buddies (you have seen that quilt before, haven’t you?! :) ):

Zooming in – my Baby Steps Quilt will be featured in Quilter’s World’s April 2010 issue. I already have this Birth Memory Quilt, now all I need is a cross-stitched birth sampler! And yes, I have that in the works too – stay tuned!

Thank you for visiting me. I hope you have enjoyed my Tablescape post. Come back tomorrow if you want to see the birthday dress! Meanwhile, have a lovely lovely day!

Blue & Brown Mix & Match

tablescape thursday

Inspired by my blue and brown quilt, I set out to play with my blue and brown dishes all together at one time.


I am usually a dish collection kind of gal when it comes to dishes, but I have to say that experimenting with mixing the colors together was very fun! The following are some of the combinations I tried:

#1 (you can tell I was a bit reserved in the beginning!)

blue brown1


blue brown2


blue brown3

#4 (then ever so slowly, I started to loosen up):

blue brown4

blue brown5

#5 (I started to be a bit more adventurous):

blue brown6

#6 (By now, dishes were starting to pile up on the floor, waiting to be auditioned):

blue brown7

blue brown8

#7 (I am bringing in more blues):

blue brown9

blue brown10

#8 (now comes the desserts):

blue brown11

blue brown12

Now, how about retreating to the drawing room to take some tea with me?

blue brown13

blue brown14

What do you think, my bloggy friends – should I, or should I not use my blues with my browns this year for Thanksgiving?

What goes on my fall table?

tablescape thursday

Good day, everyone – I have been taking it a little more slowly this week. I made myself play a bit – and that means, I got to play with my dishes. I broke out my Spode Woodland for the autumn, and handed my husband his special Woodland Jumbo Mug for his coffees!


For this week’s Tablescape Thursday, I thought I would show you what is going and has gone on my fall table.

A fall quilt (or interesting tableclothes) covering the table – yes, at long last, I have a fall-ish quilt to adorn my table:


Things from nature that conveys the bountiful blessings in our life:


Thanksgiving Corner1


Candles (you’ve got to have candles!):


fall candles2


Fall faux sprays:


Books to adorn the table and the mind:



Extra dishes that I won’t get to use (ahem, you know you have those if you are a dishaholic!):


Thanksgiving Corner2

As the decoration of all decorations, I bring a joyful and thankful spirit to my tables!! I hope you have lots of fun decorating your tables this fall season!

Confession of a dishaholic (part 2)

If you let a dish-aholic start collecting a set of blue and white dishes,

Confession #1: She will have to have other blue and white dishes to go with those she started out, and sink her love deeper and deeper and yet even deeper in the blue and white pile of dishes there are out there…

Confession #2: Then, she will think she needs to start collections of  other dishes to balance out the blue/white monopoly in her cupboards…



Thanksgiving Corner2

(to suit the different seasons, don’t you know?) :)



Christmas Tablescape2

Thank you for visiting.  I would love to hear from you if you are suffering from the aforementioned symptoms! :)  Have a great Friday, everyone.  I will see you next week!

Tablecapes of Christmases past

tablescape thursday

Hello everyone, can you believe it’s Thursday,  and that July is already almost over? That means Christmas is swiftly approaching, and that goose had better be getting fat. :) I am showing for this week’s Tablescapes some Christmas tablesettings I have done in the past.

Christmas Tablescape3

christmas tablescape04

My Christmas pieces are still quite limited. I only started my Spode Christmas Rose collection a few years ago, and have been rather slow in adding to my collection. But it is still very fun to try to come up with different ways to set the table with my limited number of pieces.  Though there are a lot of color choices out there for Christmas nowadays, mine doesn’t ever veer too far from the traditional red and green:

Christmas Quilt1

Here you see that my Christmas ornaments are limited to just the tree:

christmas tablescape1

Christmas Tablescape2

christmas tablescape5

Of course, a nice placecard holder with placecard always makes my guests feel special:


Last year, I added chocolate bars as a tablescape favor for my guests:

christmas tablescape6

Centerpieces I have used on the table:

Christmas Tablescape4

heavenly bamboo2


A Christmas Tea and Punch:



I hope you have enjoyed my Christmas snippets today!  Thank you for stopping by.  I always enjoyed your visit.  Please be sure to leave a comment so that I can visit or write you back.  BLESSINGS!

Setting a tea table when I am half asleep…

tablescape thursday

I always have a little celebration when I fulfill a harsh quilt deadline before I jump right into the next deadline looming in the horizon, just to break the monotony of things. This time, I would like to celebrate the completion of one of my magazine quilts with my kind bloggy friends with a simple tea. But you must forgive me, as I am walking around half-asleep after several almost all-nighters. I did manage to get some wild roses to put in my Westerwald crock for a table centerpiece. The blossoms smell simply heavenly:


Oh, thanks for reminding me… some of you don’t drink tea and would prefer coffee. Let me get that coffeepot out just for you, and coffee mugs too:


Now, won’t you make yourself at home while I retrieve the napkins from the cabinet? I am sorry I didn’t get everything ready ahead of time…


I am glad to see that you are chatting with each other trading stories how you stumbled upon Ivory Spring. I am going back to the cabinet one more time to get some plates for our cookies.

Here is to bloggy friendships!


Thank you for popping by to visit. I am glad you spent some time with me as I relax for a little before tackling my next big challenge.

A dishaholic’s dress-up party!

tablescape thursday

blue monday

My tablescape this week is a “pretend” one using pieces that are normally eye candies and aren’t used at the table.  But that certainly does not mean these pieces can’t appear on the table for a “dress-up” party, does it?  So, here it is, with the trinket trays doubling as individual salad bowl, and bread plate respectively.  You will also notice that a framed picture is used as a charger for the place setting:



The bouquet motif is based on an 18th century Chinese export bowl.  There are over thirty colors in the motif.  Think of the different metal oxides used to produce the exuberant colors:


The border is the famous Fitzhugh border, which also appeared in the Order of the Cincinnati, service of Martha and George Washington:


Among those who are invited to the “dress-up party for dishes” are – some crystal stemware, an antique cobalt/silver salt cellar, a pair of Italian brass birds, and an Italian brass candelabra:





Thank you for popping by my “dress-up party for dishes”!  I hope you have enjoyed my pretend tablesetting.  Have a lovely day!


Cream Soup for One Tablescape

tablescape thursday

I set a cream soup tray for one since I was dining by myself:

jude tablescape1

jude tablescape2

I absolutely loved the shape of the cream soup bowl.  The handles make me want to sit up a little straighter and mind my table manners a little better.  Here, the cream soup bowl is sitting on a cream soup stand, which in turn sits on a salad plate, which in turn sits on a silverplate filigree tea tray for a layered effect:

jude tablescape3

Of course, with a pattern like Lady Carlyle that exudes the beauty of an English garden, we have to have some kind of rose accent!  I am sorry I only have blossoms from my one and only Jude rose bush to impress myself and you.  It would have been nice to have a St. Cecelia, or Queen of Sweded to match that cupped rose in the center of the soup bowl.  But for now, my Jude would have to do:

jude tablescape4

jude tablescape5

jude tablescape6

Some accessories to go with the tablescape – a Florentine glass goblet, Lady Carlyle salt and pepper shakers, and Lady Carlyle napkin.  I had bought the Lady Carlyle fabric in my pre-quilting days.  Now, I wish I had bought more of the fabric to make a quilt:

jude tablescape7

jude tablescape8

jude tablescape9

Of course, when I eat alone, I have to have something to read… in this rosy setting, what can be more apt than the David Austin rose catalog?

jude tablescape 10

Just to set the record straight, I rarely set the table when I eat alone (or Vicki would surely prohibit me from ever joining her Craft Week, hehe.  I am just giving Vicki a hard time).  But once in a blue moon when the mood strikes…. I do indulge and make myself feel extra-special by setting the table just for ME!

Thank you for stopping by.  I wish you a wonderful day!